• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Experts advise prioritizing aviation recovery for economic rebound

Experts advise prioritizing aviation recovery for economic rebound

Experts in the aviation sector have called for the need to prioritize the recovery of the sector which will significantly impact economic rebound following the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at the Pre-NES26 webinar themed “Positioning Nigeria’s Aviation Industry for Global Competitiveness” hosted by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) held recently, Hadi Sirika, Minister for Aviation said just like other sectors, aviation activities was also disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and is yet to fully recover. He added that in reviving the sector, it is necessary to grow the number of national air carriers which is a critical part of Nigeria’s aviation roadmap and is still awaiting approval by the Federal Executive Council.

“About 80 percent of air carriers in Africa are not of African origin and this makes it pertinent to establish a robust national carrier that can take advantage of the potentials of Nigeria,

The second aspect of the roadmap is concerned with Airports concession. Currently about $1 billion has been borrowed for the reconstruction of four airports and we intend to concession them going forward for a specified time. It is our hope that by 2023, Aviation will begin to contribute up to about 5 percent of Nigeria’s GDP”

Niyi Yusuf, Vice-chairman of the NESG, in his remark said reports have shown that there will be an overall reduction in air and passenger traffic as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which will cause a significant revenue dip in the industry, he called for the need to reform the industry in line with global standards.

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“in 2020, an estimated loss of about $97 billion representing a significant 57 percent of revenues will be lost due to the reduction in passenger traffic, ultimately This means that Nigeria has to rethink how the aviation industry is set up and prepare it to be more resilient for what will be an increasingly competitive industry” Yusuf stated.

Similarly, Adefunke Adeyemi, regional director, Advocacy and strategic relations, Regional Head for Airline and Relations – Africa and Middle East, International Air Transportation Association (IATA), said that aviation is a means of mass transportation and data analysis showed that aviation carried 7.5 billion people in 2019 however; the pandemic disrupted the industry activities leading in losses especially in revenue and employment

“The aviation industry has lost about $420 billion since the COVID-19 pandemic started and the economic situation for African and Nigerian airlines remain dire without adequate government and private sector collaboration and intervention,” she explained